An older man wearing a bright red jacket and speaking into a microphone in front of a crowd of people.

Within 36 hours of a toothache, Ollie was having his first treatment for a rare and aggressive form of cancer

Sixteen-year-old Ollie Miles should be preparing to head back to school and the footy training paddock next week.

Key points:

Ollie Miles has been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia
He will undergo ongoing regular treatments as part of a worldwide trial for rare leukaemia strains
The Leukaemia Foundation and Ollie’s local community are rallying behind the family

Instead, the aspiring Australian Rules football player is tackling a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia after being diagnosed just weeks before Christmas.

Yeppoon Swans Australian Football Club president Peter Watkins said the exact strain of leukaemia was so rare that it was still being determined, and Ollie’s treatment plan was changing daily.

He said the Capricorn Coast community in central Queensland had been rocked by the teenager’s shock diagnosis.

“It was all very rapid,” Mr Watkins said.

“From basically having a few aches and pains and a toothache to … within 36 hours … having his first treatment for what is a pretty rare strain of leukaemia,” Mr Watkins said.

Ollie Miles is battling a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia.(Supplied: Yeppoon Swans)

Ollie and his parents, Clint and Kate, have relocated to Brisbane, where the teenager will undergo ongoing regular treatments as part of a worldwide trial for rare leukaemia strains for at least the next three years.

The Leukaemia Foundation’s Blood Cancer Partnerships general manager, Tim Murphy, said Ollie’s treatment was complex.

“There’s over 120 blood cancers that exist and it’s one of the more challenging ones,” Mr Murphy said.

“It’s a very, very rare disorder for young people.”

Community rallies behind family

A group from the coastal community including the Yeppoon Swans and Ollie’s school, St Brendan’s College, have set up a fundraising page for the family.

Mr Watkins said the group had already raised more than $70,000 to assist the family with accommodation, travel and other medical costs.

An older man wearing a bright red jacket and speaking into a microphone in front of a crowd of people.

Peter Watkins says the Miles are much-loved members of the Swans family.(Supplied: Yeppoon Swans)

“The family, Ollie in particular, have been appreciative of the support from the whole community,” Mr Watkins said.

“They’re having a pretty big battle and it’s obviously been a pretty traumatic time.”

The family has also received support from the Leukaemia Foundation, which works with patients and families diagnosed with blood disorders.

“When a child is diagnosed with a rare cancer, [the family] do everything in their power to help the child, and we do everything in our power so they can emotionally and physically recover from the challenge of having a blood cancer diagnosis in their family,” Mr Murphy said.

Mr Watkins said Ollie would require the services of blood donors and, in the future, a bone marrow transplant.

“That’s vital at some stage in the future being able to get a bone marrow donor for Ollie,” he said.

“We encourage anybody out there that is willing to become a blood donor and also get their bone marrow checked at the bone marrow registry.

“It’s not just kids like Ollie, there’s a lot of kids all over the country that certainly need this sort of help.”

A head shot of a broadly smiling man wearing black glasses and a suit.

Tim Murphy says The Leukaemia Foundation will support the Miles family during this difficult time.(Supplied: The Leukaemia Foundation)

Mr Murphy said there were two ways that people could help, beyond the fundraising.

“Go to the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry to register for the bone marrow, which is part of the stem cell transplant,” he said.

“Or go to the blood bank for the ability to provide blood and plasma donations … each of those services will be vitally important in Ollie’s case and other Australians who need a good match.”

A man with grey hair, one with long beard, one woman, a boy stand behind a man wearing graduation gown, holding red folder.

The Miles family in central Queensland during happier times.(Supplied: Yeppoon Swans)

Young Swan soaring to big heights

The Miles family have been a long-serving members of the “Swannies” in the AFL Capricornia competition.

Mr Watkins said Ollie was one of the region’s up-and-coming talents and had a big future in the sport.

A young footy player wearing a red and white uniform running with a yellow football.

Young Aussie Rules star Ollie Miles on the field for his beloved Yeppoon Swans.(Supplied: Yeppoon Swans)

“He’s very talented and been in the Gold Coast Suns Academy for quite a few years,” he said.

“Part of that academy, he certainly would have been under the watchful eye of some of the big AFL club recruiters and a potential opportunity to go a long way, as far as AFL.

“But obviously that’s parked now, and he’s got much bigger things to be fighting for.”

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Source: AFL NEWS ABC

    

Author: Russell White